BRENTON JONES hopes good results on either day of the Powercor Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic will springboard him into a European season with his new UCI Continental team.
The 28-year-old will race in Saturday's grueling 267-kilometre 'Warrny' before backing it up with more racing in Sunday's elite men's criterium around Viaduct Road.
Following this weekend's rides Jones, who is racing in his fifth Melbourne to Warrnambool, will then jet over to England on Wednesday to join his new teammates at Team Canyon dhb p/b Soreen.
His first race with his new team is on February 27th in the Netherlands and he feels the Melbourne to Warrnambool is a good test of the legs ahead of the 180-kilometres he will ride in his first European race.
The former Australian criterium champion, who will be riding in the five-strong Avalon Airport team, said he was feeling good heading into the 104th edition of the time-honoured race.
"I have got a good training block in and I've recently been feeling fresh and I'm ready to go before I head over to Europe on Wednesday," he said.
"My legs are feeling good and I'm ready to go and excited to see what I can do."
Jones' confidence is high after some impressive results at the Bay Crits and the Australian Road Race Championships earlier this year.
The Warragal export finished third, second and fifth in the three stages of the Bay of Crit series in Geelong and Williamstown.
But sickness derailed his chances of winning back-to-back Australian criterium titles at the Road Nationals in early January.
Jones ensured he would be well prepared for his next criterium and road race, opting to train around the 1.6-kilometre course on Viaduct Road and also doing some reconnaissance of the classic's route.
"I have done a ride around it (the criterium course) and I now know what the wind might be like on the day," he said.
"It will be a challenging course and I think the hot dog circuit along the foreshore will be great for spectators and bring some exciting racing.
"Last Saturday I went in the car with the event director and my mother Karin Jones and we went and did a bit of recon of the first 180-kilometres.
"Then I rode the last 80kms so I am familiar with the course, which is a good thing to have leading into a race."
Jones will be riding alongside riders from other teams who have been teamed together.
Canadian international Ben Perry, Sam Crome, Julian Thomson, Canadian-Trinidadian David Sylvestre-Williams and William Moloney-Morton join him in the team.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.